There are literally hundreds of decisions to make when assembling the building blocks of life for a brand. And unless you’re a marketing guru, how do you decide which sales, marketing, advertising and Internet options to choose? How do you decide the timing of all those options? And how do you do it on a limited budget?
All Good Questions, One Good Answer: The BrandSync Evaluation
BrandSync is the IDEAS4 solution to discover the DNA of your brand and provide a road map of brand positioning, marketing programs, ideas and solutions that can only come from an objective, experienced third-party firm (one with the chops to be honest about it).
When you engage with IDEAS4, our first step will be to complete a BrandSync. This unlocks the genetic code of your brand and gives us what we need to help you build a successful marketing organization, communicate more clearly and concisely and generate increased revenue.
Differentiate Yourself From Others
Why has your organization been successful, where others have failed - or vice versa? What makes you unique or special? Since you compete for customer dollars, we’ll research your competitors through searches, news articles, review their websites, collateral material and more. We will build a matrix of their differentiators and help you find your place within the competitive environment.
Dedicate Your Organization To A Long-Term Strategy
It is incumbent on the organization’s leadership to “buy-in” to a long-term strategy for the brand, be the brand evangelist and walk the walk. Without strong leadership for a brand position, the entire exercise is a waste of time and money.
Deliver On Your Promises
Once we know what makes you different, better and more successful, and develop messaging, both internal and external it’s time for everyone in the organization to become part of that Brand Mission and dedicate themselves to delivering on the Brand Promise.
PERCEPTION IS REALITY
Listening to your organization’s leadership, staff and front line employees will help us understand the organization and find out who you are and if there are breakdowns between who you think you are and who you actually might be. The purpose is to understand the key features of your organization’s operations, market, customers and prospects to define an effective brand strategy.
Based on an understanding of the organization, its products and services, audiences and competition and current messaging, we’ll help define the messaging that will help you differentiate you from your competitors.
Phase 1: BRAND ANALYSIS
After our initial discussions, we’ll begin our BrandSync evaluation to make the best possible recommendations for branding your business. First we need to understand your brand and what makes it “human.” This requires detailed discussions with you and your organization, your strategic spheres of influence and your target audiences. We also will include secondary discovery of previous efforts and lots of experienced, creative thinking.
We’ll conduct research on marketing positioning, messaging, branding, social media and more. We’ll research your brand to determine what differentiates you from your competitors. We’ll determine if your current marketing materials capture the essence of your brand and communicate it simply and easily, or if you need to consider a different direction. And then we’ll deliver a complete marketing road map with our recommendations, ideas and strategies.
Below is our approach, broken down into four major parts:
- Your Business DNA
- Your Business Personality
- Your Business Mantra
- Focus Groups
- Community Meetings
- Secondary Research
- SWOT Analysis
- SWOT Strategies
- Positioning Line
Before marketing to all of your orgainzation’s potential target groups, it is important to take back a look inward and understand the essence of what you do, why you do it, how you do it and why you are better at it than others. These are elements that cut across all constituencies. By gathering and analyzing the data and feedback, we will be able to effectively capture the essence of your brand.
Your DNA is the quick version of who you are and whom you serve. This clear and simple definition of who the company is will serve as a baseline for all future marketing efforts.
Your organization’s personality is a key reason potential customers buy from you versus your competitors. When crafting any marketing communication, we have to know the triggers for your customers to buy and the elements of your organization’s personality that helps make this message clear. and persuasive.
That personality goes beyond logos and visuals and includes employee personality and engagement, waiting time, the “happiness”factor and other elements.
Your Business DNA is who you are and to whom you serve. This clear and simple definition of who the company is will serve as a baseline for all future marketing efforts.
Your Business Personality is the key reason a prospect will buy from you instead of a competitor. When crafting any marketing communication, you have to know what the trigger is for your customers to buy and your Business Personality helps make this message clear.
Most marketers will tell you that you must have a professionally-crafted Mission Statement, that every employee should memorize and embody it, and that every activity associated with your business should be measured against it.
The problem is that nobody will remember this. It’s too long, and too complex.
The Mantra is a more focused, concise statement of an organizations goal that is easy to remember, fits on a t-shirt, and is easily communicated to your internal and external audiences.
The completion of primary research will yield a carefully developed and tested brand identity for your orgainzation that will seek to define the most motivating methods with which to convey this brand, brand features and participation opportunities to the various target audiences.
The research phase of the program can include primary and secondary research and include the following elements:
- Internal Customers
- External Customers
- Other Stakeholders
- Focus Groups
- Target Group Meetings and discussion forums
- Electronic Customer (internal and external) Survey
- Secondary Research
INTERNAL FOCUS GROUPS
Initial meeting/group interview with management followed by an online survey of employees. The survey will be live for one week. During this step, IDEAS4 will seek to find individual key employees that touch customers and ask them a separate set of questions to be sure that their needs and concerns are adequately addressed in the research process.
In-person, online and/or phone interviews with customers to access brand position and overall perception of a brand and the positive and negative features of the company, people and general perception.
EXTERNAL FOCUS GROUPS
We can drive this interview process as deeply as you wish to go. We can include a variety of customer groups, targets by type, geographic anomolies, and any number of variations to deeply understand the feelings, perceptions and ideas from each group and as a whole.
Focus groups are an excellent way to watch the feelings and perceptions of your customers live and get direct feedback from those you depend on for your sales and your company’s future.
With a good understanding of who you are and who the target segments are, we can turn our attention to aggressively marrketing your organization’s brand. By creating a comprehensive plan that is grounded from your INWARD REFLECTION data, you can market strategically and realize a greater return.
The Mantra replaces the old “Mission Statement” as a short, memorable, “essence” of your organization. It needs to permeate the thinking, attitudes and action of your organization – in other words, every business decision and practice should be measured against the Mantra.
Logo and Positioning Line
The organization’s logo is a visual, iconic representation of the brand. As a result of the brand strategy, a positioning line is developed to provide a concise description that makes the brand messaging relevant to the audience.
Culture Every aspect of your business is related to marketing. In addition to traditional sales and marketing efforts, an organization’s culture is comprised of the less tangible, less obvious cues that can have a very significant and long-lasting impact on the success of your business.
We can work on developing the “right brand for the right audience” all day long, but in the end, the organization culture is what will make a brand successful or be a failure. All too often, when the “tail wags the dog,” the brand initiative fails. During this process one of two outcomes will emerge; either the organizational culture is right on target and can be marketed as is, or, the one that is more common, is the culture must change to match the brand. Your entire organization must be open to change if it is warranted.
EXECUTION PLAN & MARKETING TOOLS
Determining the exact messaging, media, social media, visuals and more will all be revealed in the research and analysis portion of the BrandSync. Budgets for development can be determined at that time or specific execution recommendations can be made based on the available budgets.
Our BrandSync Report includes a summary recommendation of execution to help you reach your marketing and revenue goals. Each organization is different, and so is every plan. This is not a cookie-cutter solution, but a well thought-out, customized program based on our professional recommendations and strategies.
SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats is a tool used for auditing an organization and its environment, helping marketers to focus on key issues. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors; opportunities and threats are external factors.
Your SWOT Summary helps break your organization down into 4 easy to read categories. By taking an honest, top-level view of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, your brand marketing can be guided to leverage the good and address the bad.
SWOT analysis is a tool used for auditing an organization and its environment, helping marketers to focus on key issues. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. Strengths and weaknesses are internal factors; opportunities and threats are external factors. Your SWOT Summary helps break your organization down into 4 easy to read categories.
By taking an honest, top-level view of your Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats, your marketing can be guided to leverage the good and address the bad.
Internal Factors - Strengths / Weaknesses:
Translate into strategies for the Marketing Plan
External Factors / Opportunities:
How do we use our strengths to leverage opportunities?
How do we overcome weaknesses that could prevent us from taking advantage of opportunities?
How do we use our strengths to reduce the likelihood and impact of threats?
How do we address weaknesses that could make threats a reality?